Thursday, April 9, 2015

Herb Flavored Butters

We have a great French Bistro and Bakery in our town. I talk about it often. They have an amazing young Chef that's creative in the kitchen. He'll prepare most any special request, and he does that often for me because I'm Vegetarian. He never disappoints.
We had 19 family members for dinner on a Saturday evening and the most talked about item was a homemade herbed butter. He served it with a variety of crackers and breads. It was incredible. I did not get an exact recipe but I decided to post the basics.
The preparation is very similar to most herbed butters. You add or subtract as much of an herb or spice according to personal taste. The butter is usually whipped or at least at room temperature, and the added ingredients are mixed in by hand. The butter can be rolled into a log on waxed or parchment paper and then refrigerated until it sets. It's then sliced to serve.
It can also be prepared, and the final product spread into a crock, or  a covered European butter dish  and refrigerated. It should be brought back to room temperature before serving, allowing it to be easily spread, or served as a dip with lavash crackers, toasted slices of baguette bread, bagel chips, tortilla chips or wedges of fresh homemade flour tortillas.
Here are some examples of how you can flavor butter.

I'll start with the ingredients that were given to me for the butter served at the French Bistro.

Softened Butter
Finely chopped herbs :
Garlic Cloves
Green Onion

Mix the herbs well and emulsify them with a mortar and pestle or in a food processor.
Transfer to a serving container and fold in the butter by hand.
Add a bit of Fleur de Sel according to taste and top it off with a drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar.

Here are some other favorites:
Each of these are started with 8 TBS (1 stick) of softened Butter at room temperature.
Mixed in a bowl with a hand mixer or in a Food Processor.

Cilantro, finely chopped
Lime Juice
Lime Zest

A handful of finely chopped fresh Mint leaves.
The zest of 1 Lemon

A few fresh sprigs of Thyme, leaves only, finely chopped.
1 tsp Honey

Chive/Black Pepper
Finely chopped Chive
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

Finely chopped Parsley
1/2 of a Shallot, minced

I hope you take some time to create homemade Herbed Butter for yourself or for guests.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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